EU, UNODC and Government Partners held First Steering Committee Meeting of the “Support to Justice Sector Reform in the Kyrgyz Republic” Joint Project

The European Union and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in partnership with the Ministry of Justice and the General Prosecutor’s Office in the Kyrgyz Republic, conducted the first steering committee meeting of the EU-UNODC joint project, “Support to justice sector reform in the Kyrgyz Republic: advancing probation and criminal justice information management (JUST4ALL)” in a hybrid format.  


Around 50 representatives from the Ministry of Justice, the Probation Department, the State Prison Service, the General Prosecutor’s office, EU delegation, GIZ, and international and national experts gathered at the meeting to discuss lessons learned during the inception phase and review the Action Plan for 2022.


The opening remarks outlined the key role played by the Probation Department within the criminal justice system at large and within the JUST4ALL project. They also emphasized the importance of enhancing constructive cooperation with all key stakeholders for a successful and well-coordinated third phase of the EU Rule of Law initiative.   

 “Our cooperation with UNODC and the EU is aimed at increasing the efficient functioning of the justice system, and ensuring wider access to justice for all citizens in the Kyrgyz Republic. In this regard, the «Justice for All» programme offers a valuable opportunity both cooperation on the development of the legal system and ensuring the rule of law in the Kyrgyz Republic”, said Mr. Ayas Baetov, the Minister of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic in his opening remark. Mr. Baetov confirmed the government’s readiness to support further the process of probation development and hopes to expedite the project activities starting from September current year.

During the meeting, Mr. Turusbek Ishenaliev, Deputy General Prosecutor, noted the importance of regular meetings with the project partners to ensure timely update of the project developments, and timely support to the justice sector reforms on advancing human rights-related issues. 

Mr. Hans Farnhammer, Head of EU Delegation Cooperation Unit in the Kyrgyz Republic, welcomed and thanked the programme steering committee meeting participants for the continuous cooperation in the rule of law and justice sector and the Kyrgyz government’s commitment despite the existing challenges, including the creation of a fully functional probation service that can rehabilitate its clients. 

“The Ministry of Justice plays an important role in balancing the needs of some institutions with data and human rights protection. With UNODC support, our expectation is that European Union will bring  to the joint project on Support to justice sector reform in the Kyrgyz Republic the best international know-how tools to advance human rights and the rule of law in the country”, stated Mr. Farnhammer.  

The Just4All project addresses two crucial areas in the criminal justice reform: probation and criminal justice information management. Thus, the project will create a fully functional probation service that can resocialise its clients and strengthen gender-responsive and human rights-based approaches to the administration of justice in the context of increased automation and digitalisation in the justice sector. 

Mr. Koen Marquering, UNODC International Project Manager in UNODC Regional Office for Central Asia highlighted the Kyoto Declaration, which was adopted by the 2021 UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice and emphasized the importance of reducing reoffending through rehabilitation and reintegration, implementing evidence-based crime prevention strategies through digitalized data collection and analysis systems. Mr. Marquering expressed his hope for the Just4All project to bring measurable results which are to be demonstrated during the next UN Congress in 2025.


"The European Union's rule of law program is entering its third phase. We are very pleased to work in partnership to continue the work done so far. This means that we are not starting from scratch. Our goal is to ensure continuity and expand on the results of the previous phases of the EU programme", said Mr. Marquering.


UNODC made a presentation of implementation during the inception period, which includes findings of the desk analysis and expert missions, changes in risk management,  changes in implementation approach, and the 2022 Activity Plan.


Participants provided their comments on effective implementation and the importance of the complementarity between phases 2 and 3 of the EU Rule of Law initiative project phases.


The project “JUST4ALL” was launched on 22 June 2022. It is co-funded by the European Union and UNODC  and implemented by UNODC as a part of the new program of cooperation signed between the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic and the European Union for a transparent justice system and equal justice for all in the Kyrgyz Republic.


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